15 Resources on Equity-Centered Faculty Development to Support Implementing Courseware

Written by: Jerry Smith

Selecting courseware and making it available to faculty who are teaching gateway courses will be useful for closing equity gaps only if faculty have the particular knowledge and skills to use the technology effectively.

This doesn’t happen automatically. The annual Time for Class surveys and reports from Tyton Partners frequently identify professional development for faculty as a key part of closing a “lingering digital learning strategy-to-execution gap.” The 2020 survey found that “only 18% of administrators reported offering professional development at scale, and despite the herculean efforts of institutions during the COVID-19 transition, the lack of scaled professional development persists.”

Equity-centered faculty development often covers topics such as aligning the technology with the learning goals, building collaboration with the student affairs and IT organizations, analyzing and using learning data, redesigning courses to use digital learning, developing effective assessments, customizing course content, giving student feedback, creating presence in online environments, and implementing other teaching practices.

One of the most critical issues addressed in equity-centered faculty development is accounting for differences in how students access and experience digital learning. Equitable outcomes for Black, Latino/Latina, and Indigenous students, and students from low-income backgrounds, depend on the thoughtful and informed implementation of courseware.

Below is a selection of 15 resources devoted to equity-centered faculty development.

Resources from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education

Two centers at USC Rossier offer a wealth of practical guidance on equity-centered education: the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the Center for Urban Education (CUE).

  1. Design for Equity in Higher Education (from the Pullias Center) outlines “liberatory design thinking processes” and looks at changes that enhance equity in policies and practices. Some of the topics covered in this resource include: shared equity leadership, academic governance and change, and team building. 
  1. A companion guide to the Design for Equity supports implementation of this model.
  1. Equity Mindedness (from CUE) outlines research about faculty who have learned to question their own assumptions and recognize stereotypes and systemic bias that can create barriers to student success.
  1. CUE’s Racial Equity Tools is a comprehensive toolkit to help faculty, instructional designers, and academic support professionals reflect on racism and equity in higher education. Each tool—organized into four phases—prompts faculty to consider the racialized characteristics of common teaching practices, setting the foundation for change.


Resources from Campus Teaching and Learning Centers

A growing number of university teaching and learning centers are developing resources focused on equity-centered faculty development.

  1. Inclusive & Equity Minded Teaching Practices, from the Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence at the University of Illinois Chicago, is a resource offering guides on equity-minded teaching practices, including course planning and design and curriculum development. The guides are designed to give instructors the tools needed to further explore equity-minded teaching practices.
  1. Learning-Centered and Equity-Minded Syllabus, from the Center for Teaching and Learning at the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, is a guide to ensuring that a syllabus is accessible and engaging for every student.
  1. Equity-Minded Teaching is one section in the comprehensive self-paced teaching toolkit from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). The toolkit overall includes evidence-based resources on teaching with transparency, using active learning strategies, and building community. The section devoted to equity-minded teaching is organized around the concept of dimensions of inclusive excellence.
  1. An updated version of the Equity-Minded Teaching course from CSUN is maintained on Canvas.
  1. Equity-focused Teaching, from the Center for Research on Learning & Teaching at the University of Michigan, helps educators understand the distinction between inclusion and equity.
  1. The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion web page, from the Office of Faculty Development at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, looks at principles that support diversity, equity, and inclusion. Their downloadable resources include information on microaggressions, a 21-day anti-racism challenge, and a guide to inclusive faculty searches.


Faculty Development Toolkits from Advocacy Organizations

Nonprofit research and advocacy organizations, often made up of networks of professional educators, are increasingly centering equity in their faculty development resources.

  1. Teaching & Learning Toolkit: A Research-Based Guide to Building a Culture of Teaching & Learning Excellence, from Achieving the Dream, which champions community colleges, synthesizes research and case studies, along with actionable worksheets, on transforming institutional culture.
  1. Optimizing High-Quality Digital Learning Experiences: A Playbook for Faculty, from Every Learner Everywhere in partnership with the Online Learning Consortium and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, is a guide to thinking and designing strategically to increase the opportunities in online learning.
  1. Supporting Online Adjunct Faculty Across Institutional Roles: An Inclusive Playbook for Academic Leaders & Instructional Support Staff, from WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies and the Online Learning Consortium in partnership with Every Learner Everywhere, presents concrete strategies for academic leaders and instructional design staff to support their contingent, part-time, and adjunct faculty who are teaching online..
  1. Success & Equity Through Quality Instruction: Bringing Faculty into the Student Success Movement, from the Association of College and University Educators and Sova, outlines evidence-based teaching practices and profiles eleven institutions that are implementing these practices.
  1. Inclusive Teaching Practices Toolkit, also from the Association of College and University Educators, offers strategies for instructors in creating inclusive learning environments. The resources are supplemented by a collection of videos on equity-centered syllabi, policies, and course content, and on accessible multimedia elements within courseware.

Discover equity-centered courseware on CourseGateway